Jose Mourinho has been here before. After Mourinho’s Roma sides horrifying 6-1 defeat to FK Bodo/Glimt of Norway in Europe midweek, his words sounded familiar to what onlookers have heard in previous managerial spells.
A Jose Mourinho side concedes SIX in a single game for the first time ever in his managerial career 😳
FT: Bodo/Glimt 6 – 1 Roma in the Europa Conference League.
Roma's joint-second biggest defeat in European football.#OptusSport pic.twitter.com/2rl96nAOlH
— Optus Sport (@OptusSport) October 21, 2021
Mourinho ripped into the players on the field, emphatically declaring “We have a very good team, we don’t have a very good squad,” and “If I could use the same players every match I would. It’s risky because there’s a huge gulf between our first choice and second choice players.” The fallout from the match was always going to be significant and it was evident against Napoli last night.
🗣 "We have a very good team. We don't have a very good squad"
Jose Mourinho's reaction after his Roma side suffered a 6-1 defeat to FK Bodø/Glimt pic.twitter.com/TZ8B9o0Y6k
— Football Daily (@footballdaily) October 22, 2021
Five of the starting eleven from Thursday- Borja Mayoral, Gonzalo Villar, Amadou Diawara, Marsh Kumbulla, and Bryan Reynolds were left of the squad entirely.
Mourinho: "We are building a team here – but we also need to build out the squad. That will take time.
"You can look at our substitutes' bench tomorrow to see that – there won't be any bad players there, but some of them are very young."#ASRoma #RomaNapoli
— AS Roma English (@ASRomaEN) October 23, 2021
Could this be the start of another famous combustible chapter in Mourinho’s long career or will better sense prevail, considering it is only nine games into the season domestically?
THE CALM BEFORE THE STORM
The first two months of Mourinho in charge had largely been normal and positive for all involved. Roma are currently 4th on the table, having taken five wins and one draw. His main acquisition of the summer, Tammy Abraham started off similarly well with four goals and two assists in all competitions but the last came on October 1 in Europe.
Tammy Abraham #ASRoma stats so far:
🏟 5 games
⚽️ 2 goals
🅰️ 2 assists
Can you see Abraham return to the #PL? 🤔 pic.twitter.com/kmeuyXBf9e
— talkSPORT (@talkSPORT) September 24, 2021
However, there had been some notably poor results, with 3-2 away losses to Hellas Verona and bitter rivals Lazio respectively. The restart since the end of the international break has been even more dismal. Juventus managed to shut out the Giallorossi in a 1-0 defeat before that dark day in Scandinavia unfolded.
Jose Mourinho to DAZN on Roma's loss to Juventus: "I won here a few years ago without deserving, I lost today when my team deserved to win."https://t.co/hh9zFEbpqF
— Get Italian Football News (@_GIFN) October 17, 2021
Those results sparked the simmering comments, which involved taking a swipe at Roma’s former owners as well. Mourinho criticized the signing of players under the previous regime and implied that the current board has been working hard to correct those mistakes.
Mourinho: "Here the ownership, and Tiago Pinto, have inherited the consequences of a lot of mistakes made by others beforehand.
"The progress of beginning to address that situation started this summer. But it will take time."
— AS Roma English (@ASRomaEN) October 23, 2021
The 0-0 draw against Napoli was another poor performance, with just 1/13 shots on target and an xG of 1.47 while having just 38% possession. Personally, it was the conclusion of another disappointing evening for the manager as Mourinho was sent to the stands for two yellows on the sidelines, something he did not quite understand.
🤔 | José Mourinho werd naar de tribune gestuurd na deze reactie. ❌ #RomaNapoli pic.twitter.com/JmndnW7Zf5
— Eleven Sports (NL) (@ElevenSportsBEn) October 24, 2021
The current form has been poor and Mourinho’s outburst has certainly not helped matters to settle down.
A FAMILIAR FEELING
Mourinho’s exits from his previous two jobs at Spurs and Manchester United had similar patterns of unfolding. A culmination of dismal results, intense criticism of his outdated methods of coaching and team setup and of course, famously falling out with players.
51% – Only with Leiria (45%) has José Mourinho posted a lower win ratio in all competitions in his managerial career than he has with Tottenham Hotspur (51% – won 44/86 games). Sacked. pic.twitter.com/lunYGIMwh8
— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) April 19, 2021
Paul Pogba, Luke Shaw, Phil Jones, Tanguy Ndombele are just some of the names that have been lambasted by Mourinho in recent times. Everybody loves an outspoken manager who is not afraid to state things how they are, but with the Portuguese- they do tend to go overboard at times.
Paul Pogba is determined to leave Manchester United because he is still believed to be upset with the treatment he received from José Mourinho. (Source: Evening Standard) pic.twitter.com/JWuJnQN6AT
— Transfer News Live (@DeadlineDayLive) May 10, 2019
Marginalizing members of the squad who will be needed in the future to help the team as a packed schedule unfolds itself is not the smartest of moves. It cannot feel good when your manager expresses no confidence in your abilities and clearly demarcates a division between two groups of players.
Mourinho says Bodo Glimt's first team has much more quality than Roma's "second team" that he played tonight in their 6-1 defeat.
He's talking about Rui Patricio, Kumbulla, Diawara, Carles Perez, Villar, El Shaarawy, Borja Mayoral, etc. https://t.co/HV2J98WROf
— Gabriele Marcotti (@Marcotti) October 21, 2021
At Manchester United, the damage was not too great since the overall quality of the rest of the players was enough to pull through. However, Spurs suffered mightily and somehow dragged themselves to finish 7th last season and the same or worse fate could await Roma. The competition is significantly mightier since the time Mourinho was last in Italy with the two Milanese clubs leading the way to the Scudetto.
THE LAST STAND?
Many in the footballing world had genuinely wondered aloud whether Mourinho was finished at the top-level after his sacking in London. The job at Roma was supposed to be a redemption arc for one of the most serial winners in the game.
Jose Mourinho at Manchester United: One competition, one final.
He's finished as a football manager… https://t.co/TxFAERiB3J#MUFC
— Duncan Castles (@DuncanCastles) January 26, 2017
Back to the place where he won the treble in 2010, something he still likes to remind opponent fans of. And truth be told, there have been notable highs too in this short time as well. Abraham’s return to form and goal scoring touch, the last gasp win over Sassuolo in his 1000th game in charge, Jordan Veretout claiming there has been an upward shift of mentality in training as players look to impress Mourinho are all good stories.
A brilliant last-minute winner…
A trademark Mourinho sprint…
Celebrations under the Curva…
Are you not entertained? 🐺 #ASRoma pic.twitter.com/LCicgriax8
— AS Roma English (@ASRomaEN) September 13, 2021
However, the 6-1 has upset the apple-cart quite a bit and it will be interesting to see how the manager makes his way forward with the squad at least till January.